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Zac Rinaldo, welcome back to the Department of Player Safety hearing room ...
The Philadelphia Flyers forward, suspended four games last April for a head-shot on Buffalo Sabres defenseman Chad Ruhwedel, could earn a longer one for his illegal hit on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang on Tuesday night.
Rinaldo was ejected at 15:36 of the first period, earning a 5-minute major for boarding. Letang was injured. It was rather ugly.
Letang moved the puck along the boards in his own zone, standing with his back to an onrushing Rinaldo. The Flyers skater crouched down, picked up speed and immediately before hitting Letang left his skates to maximize the impact into the defenseman’s shoulders.
Letang’s head bounced off the unforgiving glass, and he crumpled to the ice. After a few minutes, he skated off on his own and went straight to the dressing room for evaluation.
Here's the hit again:
Um, sir, this is NOT the way to celebrate #PenguinAwarenessDay.
Rinaldo also earned a 2-minute minor for cross-checking Christian Ehroff earlier in the game, pulling off the rather impressive feat of getting 17 penalty minutes in 3 minutes and 53 seconds of ice time.
Along with his suspension last April, Rinaldo was suspended for charging Johnathan Ericsson in Feb. 2012 (2 games) and was fined for a late hit on Jacob Josefson and tripping Zach Parise in the same game against the New Jersey Devils that same month.
In a related story, congratulations to Dan Carcillo for no longer being the primary symbol of disgusting displays of hockey violence in the 2014-15 season.
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